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Scheduling a two-man sports department

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by spikechiquet, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    How do you schedule a two-man desk so that both people get two days off...or does it not just happen.

    At my last gig with just two guys, I only had Wednesdays off and the SE had Sundays off and we both worked half days on Saturday and Monday. It just seemed wrong but the old ME turned a blind eye to it.

    I would think getting two days off in a row (one Sunday/Monday, the other Tuesday/Wednesday) would be manageable. But that never materialized. Hence why it was my old gig.
  2. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    My first job was at a 2-man place. We worked 6 days per week but kept our hours to 6-7 per day so we still had around 40-hour weeks.
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Five-day work weeks are manageable if you're willing to accept not everything needs to be covered. Why should you bust your butt six days a week when I bet the ME works five?
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member


    Especially if you're not getting paid OT for it.

    It's the paper's responsibility to make sure there's enough staff to cover the news. Not yours. The paper doesn't want to give you the resources, then it's the paper's problem.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    BTW, don't worry about letting readers down. It's not your problem.
  6. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    We moved from a three-man to a two-man staff 18 months ago. The hardest part is accepting that you can't cover what you want.

    I'm the editor and haven't changed my schedule of weekends off, but then we don't have a Sunday edition. The other reporter prefers not to do layout and takes Monday and Tuesday off. He says he likes the schedule as is.

    I thought about switching my schedule to work a Saturday or Sunday and take Wednesday off, but decided in the end I'd only become more bitter about things if I no longer had two days off in a row.

    And yes, you can't worry too much about readers with this small of a staff. Most of mine have been quite understanding.
  7. StaggerLee

    StaggerLee Well-Known Member

    Two-man staff I worked on had a rotating schedule to where we each got two days off every other week. Basically, we'd always have Sunday off because we were a PM paper. We'd rotate Saturdays on desk so every other week you'd get a Saturday-Sunday off. And the person who worked Saturday would come in a little later on Monday morning.

    We were able to keep our hours close to 40 a week doing it that way. Of course, we probably worked anywhere from 5-10 hours a week off the clock making phone calls, setting up interviews, etc. This was at a shop which had an actual time clock, so we had to kind of be inventive as far as keeping from getting OT.
  8. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    I'm in a two-man department now and it's kind of strange. The SE is over the daily (six days, no saturday paper) and I'm over two weeklies and helping with daily. He works six days (Mon-Sat) with a half day Sat to finish the Sun paper and Sun off. I generally work all seven, coming in on Sun to knock out most of the weekly papers that will be due on Mon and Tues.

    Officially, we don't have set times off but we take time as it comes. Like I won't come in Wed morning or he won't come back after lunch early in the week. It's that unspoken rule of "if there ain't nothing to do, don't sit at the office and stare at the computer." All that being said, my editor's words to me when I was hired were, "I don't care if I ever see you sitting at your desk. As long as the papers get out and the complaints don't roll in, you're doing the job." I've taken those words and ran with them.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    How many hours do you work a week?
  10. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    no doubt...if your editor is overly concerned about complaining parents...I'm betting he's not overly concerned that you feel the need to be working 7 days a week.

    For us...we've gone from a 2-person staff with a stable of freelancers to 1-person and a part-timer...11 schools, 1 college, 3 issues a week...we're simply unable to cover what we once were able to, and unfortunately many readers seem to be rumbling about it.
  11. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Entirely too many. More than I'm getting paid for. It's my choice, I'm still a relative newbie trying to bust ass, impress someone and land a bigger job. On average, somewhere between 55-70 hours a week.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    There's always Dickinson where you work 40 hours per week usually.
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